Chapter 7

Entire Chapter

The Eighth Beast – Part II

“I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

One of the main clues told to the apostle John by the angel is one which most people tend to overlook, almost as if it was needless old King James terminology or mere word-filler. For the angel told John, “The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go into perdition.” In another scripture the angel repeats the phrase this way, “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.”

Most people read right past this clue and place all their focus on the part about the “seven mountains,” many yielding to the common temptation to redefine them as “seven hills,” as those upon which Rome is situated. This is done out of a determination of some to apply the significance of these “seven mountains” to the Roman Catholic Church.

My main question for those laboring to interpret it that way would be when did the Catholic Church cease to exist (and not just simply flounder at times from political oppression) and then revive? For this prophetic phrase “was, and is not, and yet is,” unquestionably indicates something which had a prior existence, but then ceased to be, and yet came back into existence once again. Regardless which theory people are inclined to lean towards, their interpretation must fit all these verses, or they simply do not mean whatever it is people keep attempting to assign to them.

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

The angel prefaces these things with telling John, “Here is the mind which hath wisdom,” or perhaps, simply “here is wisdom” for those willing to prayerfully reason all this through. Regardless, the angel reveals unto John another clue to record for those who would later be seeking understanding of these things. “The seven heads are seven mountains… there are seven kings, five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come.” What we see woven in this phrase is the concept that was just given in our opening verse, a past, a present, and a future.

Since the beast has seven heads which prophetically represent the seven mountains or kingdoms with their respective seven kings, five of which John was told “are fallen,” we can definitely determine who these five kingdoms were as well as their corresponding kings. For at that time five of them in the vision were all in the comparative PAST of the Apostle John, but the angel continues with telling John that this seven-headed beast “is” being represented at the time of John’s vision as the sixth empire.  Since the angelic discourse is prophetically connecting “the one is” to the Apostle John’s time frame, should one have asked John if there was a king and nation that was oppressing Israel, he would have definitively answered, “Yes, Caesar of Rome.” 

Because there are seven heads on the beast, it is obvious that just like the previous five, this sixth king and his kingdom were going to fall as well. Then, there would be an unspecified duration of time in which this seven-headed beast “is not” manifested. When the beast does reappear, it will be the next head which represents the seventh mountain and king. The angel tells John this king’s identity will be notably marked by the fact that he will only be permitted to “continue a short space.”

Revelation 17:10 – And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

The Seven Mountains

Let’s look at some scriptures to further confirm what is being prophetically implied through the angel’s use of the word “mountain” in his interpretation of the seven heads to John.

Jeremiah 51:24 – And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith the LORD. 25 Behold, I am against thee,O destroying mountain, saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain

Zechariah 4:7 – Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. 

Daniel 2:35 – Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image becamea great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 

Daniel 2:45 – Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out ofthe mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.

Amos 4:1 – Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are inthe mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

Amos 6:1 – Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

All that remains for rightly dividing John’s vision is to now determine just who are these “seven mountains” or nations represented by the beast’s seven heads.  We need not speculate, for we can with confidence know four of them from the 7th chapter of the book of Daniel. 

Daniel 7:1 – In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. [Babylonian Empire] 5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise and devour much flesh. [Medo-Persia Empire] 6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. [Greek Empire] 7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: and it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts which came before it [Roman Empire]; and it had ten horns. 

From Revelation 17:9, we know that the sixth head empire “was” at the time of John and therefore would have been Rome. From these verses in Daniel, we easily identified three of the five mountains or empires that preceded Rome. But since there are seven heads and we have only identified those four thus far, we need to identify the other three heads, the two before Babylon and the one after Rome. However, the key to identifying the identities of the seven heads of the beast is to remember that all the heads or empires of the beast must correlate directly with Israel, or as the Angel Gabriel expressed it, “I am come to show you for you are greatly beloved… therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision… decreed upon your people and… the holy city.”

The first head of the beast is easy; for Israel was birth as a nation in Egypt when Moses was sent by God to lead those He called “My people” out of their slavery under Pharaoh. It was there that the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had “increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them,” so much so that the Egyptians began to fear them.

Exodus 1:8 – Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.  And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 10 Come, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falls out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. 13 So the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: 14 And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage laboring in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: for all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigor.

So, we can see that the first head of the beast therefore represents Egypt, for it is here the descendants of Abraham multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty, and became the embryo of promise which was to be birthed into a nation. But who is the second? Scripture reveals that before the Babylonian captivity the nation of Israel was divided into two kingdoms after Rehoboam refused to ease the tax burden upon the ten northern tribes, the whole account is given below. Now some of you may already know these events and are aware of the sins and attitudes of both Rehoboam and Jeroboam. But due to their significance they will be referenced again later in the book regarding “the Eight Beast,” therefore it will be worth our taking the time to refresh your recall.  

I Kings 12:2 – And it came to pass, when Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who was yet in Egypt, heard of it, (for he was fled from the presence of king Solomon, and Jeroboam dwelt in Egypt;) 3 That they sent and called him. And Jeroboam and all the congregation of Israel came, and spoke unto Rehoboam, saying, 4 Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us lighter, and we will serve thee. 5 And he said unto them, Depart yet for three days, and then come again to me. So the people departed. 6 And king Rehoboam consulted with the old men, that stood before Solomon his father while he yet lived, and said, How do ye advise that I may answer this people? 7 And they spoke unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants forever. 8 But he forsook the counsel of the old men, which they had given him, and consulted with the young men that were grown up with him, and which stood before him: 9 And he said unto them, What counsel give ye that we may answer this people, who have spoken to me, saying, Make the yoke which thy father did put upon us lighter? 10 And the young men that were grown up with him spoke unto him, saying, Thus shalt thou speak unto this people that spoke unto thee, saying, Thy father made our yoke heavy, but make thou it lighter unto us; thus shalt thou say unto them, My little finger shall be thicker than my father’s loins. 11 And now whereas my father did lade you with a heavy yoke, I will add to your yoke: my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 12 So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam the third day, as the king had appointed, saying, Come to me again the third day. 13 And the king answered the people roughly, and forsook the old men’s counsel that they gave him; 14 And spoke to them after the counsel of the young men, saying, My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions. 15 Wherefore the king hearkened not unto the people; for the cause was from the LORD, that he might perform His saying, which the LORD spoke by Ahijah the Shilonite unto Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So all Israel departed unto their tents. 17 But as for the children of Israel which dwelt in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them. 18 Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the tribute; and all Israel stoned him with stones, that he died. Therefore king Rehoboam made speed to get him up to his chariot, to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel rebelled against the house of David unto this day. 20 And it came to pass, when all Israel heard that Jeroboam was come again, that they sent and called him unto the congregation, and made him king over all Israel: so there was none that followed the house of David, but the tribe of Judah only.

Israel was now divided under two separate kings, but soon Jeroboam became fearful that the hearts of the people in the northern kingdom might again return towards Jerusalem whereby he would lose control and so began to fear that the people might try to kill him. Therefore, seeking to save his own life, he sinned against the Lord by making two golden calf idols for the people; and thus, Jeroboam tempted God and frustrated the grace whereby God had been with him. For did not the LORD God of Israel say to Jeroboam, “Behold, I will rend the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon, and will give ten tribes unto thee?” (I Kings 11:31)

 I Kings 12:25 – Then Jeroboam built Shechem in mount Ephraim, and dwelt therein; and went out from thence, and built Penuel. 26 And Jeroboam said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David: 27 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of the LORD at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah. 28 hereupon the king took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 29 And he set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan. 30 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan. 31 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi. 32 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made. 33 So he offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.

Because of this idolatry, the Northern Kingdom soon plummeted into greater iniquity. But God being gracious sent His prophets to them warning them to repent that He might yet heal them of their sins. Yet because of their stiff necks and stubborn hearts they would not obey and return unto Him, so God raised up Assyria to punish the ten northern tribes of Israel.

1st Kings 17:18 – Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of His sight: there was none left but the tribe of Judah only… 23 Until the LORD removed Israel out of His sight, as He had said by all His servants the prophets. So Israel was carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day.

Therefore, Assyria is the second head of the seven-headed beast. Now let’s refresh ourselves one more time with the clue the angel spoke to John.

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

The seven heads upon the beast are there solely to provide prophetic imagery for “the mind which has wisdom.” The angel tells John what they represent, “seven mountains” and “seven kings,” with the intention that with prayer the studious and watchful seeker would be able from both scripture and history to determine who they are. Since scripture is God’s “sure word of prophecy” often given hundreds, if not thousands of years to His people before it becomes historical reality, we can be confident in the irrefutability of its witness. The five empires which we have thus far clarified from scripture have such a witness by their sharing a chronologically correct biblical correlation directly with the nation Israel. Below is the list of the five that are fallen.

  1. Egypt 
  2. Assyria 
  3. Babylon 
  4. Medes /Persia 
  5. Greece

Next is the sixth head, referred to by the angel as the “one is,” which would be Rome; the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision. The angel prophesied that this fourth beast would “be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” That is in fact what Rome did to Israel in 70 A.D. at which time Jerusalem was again destroyed according to the prophecy of Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 24:2 – And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Luke 19:43 – For the days shall come upon you, that your enemies shall cast a trench about you, and compass you around, and keep you in on every side, 44 And they shall lay you even with the ground, and your children within you; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because you knew not the time of thy visitation. 

While many had already been somewhat dispersed into the surrounding nations prior to Jerusalem’s destruction, the Jews as “a people” survived. However, their national entity of “Israel” ceased to be a functioning kingdom on the land of their inheritance. For after the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Romans under Titus, both Israel as a nation and their religion of Judaism as defined and practiced under the stringent guidelines of the Levitical Law “was not.” 

From that time forward, it was impossible for the Jews to lawfully offer sacrifices, for the priests were killed or dispersed and the priesthood record of genealogy forever lost, and the sanctuary; including the altar and the Holy of holies with all its furniture were destroyed or lost, all to be further examined in Chapter 16. Consequently, after its destruction in 70 A.D. with the dispersion of the Jews, the Covenant Land was never again in their sovereign possession nor acknowledged as a sovereign nation until after the conclusion of World War II.

But who took possession of the land once Israel ceased to exist? Perhaps more importantly, who had possession of it prior to Israel’s rebirth in 1948? It was the British Empire who had possession and controlled over it. For having become the largest empire in history – the British Empire was the foremost global power for over a century. It was once boastfully said that “The sun never sets on the British Empire.” Having subjugated so much under its conquests, all around the world there were territories dominated by the British Empire; and it was in 1948 that Israel, as a literal geographically definable nation, was by the wisdom and providence of God born again” and reestablished on such land as had become part of the British Empire. Therefore, England is the most likely candidate  to qualifies for this Seventh Head of the beast.

Revelation 17:9 – And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.  11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Perhaps, the more astute reader will have already detected a possible discrepancy as to how “the foremost global power for over a century” could fulfill the prophecy which says “and when he comes, he must continue a short space?” In order to rightly divide the word, we must consider its entirety. It isn’t the mountain, or the empire that fulfills this prophecy, rather its king. For George VI, King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth lived only four short years after the rebirth of Israel, only to be succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth which to date continues to reign. Consequently, George VI was England’s last king.

Because it is a fact that England was in sovereign control of the land at the time of Israel’s rebirth, both it and King George VI alone can qualify as fulfilment of this seventh head; of which the prophecy accurately predicted, “when he cometh, he must continue a short space.” That is, only four short years after Israel which “was, is not, and yet is” as a nation born again.

As a result, we can see how, just like the beast, Israel too went through the prophetic stages defined by the angel and “was, is not, and yet is” a nation today. We must not ignore Israel’s importance here if we are to rightly divide these prophecies in both Daniel and Revelation; and John’s visions, since Gabriel told Daniel that all these things pertained to “thy people and… thy holy city.”

So, if we look at the complete list of those seven nations or empires which have had a direct relationship with Israel, either by taking her into captivity or having dominion over them and their land, it would be as follows:

  1. Egypt 
  2. Assyria 
  3. Babylon 
  4. Mede/Persia 
  5. Greece
  6. Rome (Which destroyed Israel, causing both the beast and Israel to answer to the prophetic expression of “was not”)
  7. England

But look now what the scriptures says:

Revelation 17:11 – And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

Now, because of the phrase “is of the seven,” it must be concluded that “the eighth” is either a direct extension or descent from “the seventh,” or it is a mixture of each of the seven empires, being an end time conglomeration of multitudes, languages, nationalities, and tongues: a nation existing as a unique cultural melting pot, a land of international immigrants. Either way, America alone seems to be able to comfortably wear this prophetic Cinderella slipper.

We would also do well here to recall how it was mostly because of England that America sought to get involved in World War II. Plus, it was World War II that brought the sudden decline of the British Empire, gave way to the rebirth of Israel, and gave America its occasion to rise to its global supremacy. 

It is because of this succession of nation and events that I am persuaded that America is indeed “the eighth… and destined to go “into perdition,” or suffer under the wrath of God absolute annihilation.